2017 Oracle: Italjet Dragster returns | EDITORIAL
Italjet were producers of some of the most radical modern scooters of the ’90s boom.
With the collapse of the Italian scooter industry in the Noughties they ceased production.
Like the boy who cried ‘wolf’ they regularly teased re-starting production but it never happened.
This year, however, we are told the wait is over and the Dragster is coming back…
Italjet as a name did not die with the scooter market. In fact their booth at EICMA show in Milan was bigger than for many years showing off Massimo’s other project.
More recently Italjet have become famous for their range of retro-inspired electric cycles. Despite this success the ambition is to return to the scooter and motorcycle markets.
Sticky caught up with Massimo Tartarini for an exclusive interview about Italjet and the company’s plan for the future.
SLUK: What is the idea for the new Dragster images? Are you testing the market or is this going to enter production?
MASSIMO: The moulds are almost ready and we need only to test and fix some details. We expect to start the mass production in April 2017.
Where will you produce it?
We are building new factory in Indonesia where we will manufacture Dragster and Motorcycles (Café Race).
What would be the plan for distribution – which countries?
We will start with Asian market at first and then Europe and North America.
What engine capacities will you offer?
Different engines will be fitted according to the markets. In Europe probably same engine of Aprilia Scarabeo 200ie.
What will the price be?
We have not decided yet.
Are you working on any other scooter projects at the moment?
Next year we plan to release one more scooter.
If electric cycle sales are going so well, why do another Dragster?
Because Dragster is the icon in the world of Italjet. Many fans ask for make new model. The Italjet plan in the next few years is to develop a big range of scooters and motorcycles.
Does the new Dragster share many parts with the old one. Is it possible people will be able to get spares to keep original Dragsters on the road?
Only the front arm system is same and compatible with the old one.
Perhaps most interesting was Massimo’s revelation that the first market for the new Dragster will be the massive Asian markets. For them, a 125-150 engine based on the traditional 4-stroke air-cooled GY6 derivative layouts will probably be the starting point.
The engine for Europe that Massimo referred to from the Aprilia is actually the same basic 4-valve water-cooled motor as used in the Scomadi 200. That’s not a bad choice at all. Presumably we’d get the option of a 125cc version as well.
Finally, as the images show, the plan is to use Italjet’s now considerable experience with electric vehicles to do a version of the Dragster with battery power. We are still waiting for more details about that version.
Clearly using such a heavy chassis is not ideal for performance or battery range, but when an electric scooter looks this good, who cares!